Cairns Journals

Cairns - jumping off point to adventure

Best of IgoUgo

A November 1997 trip to Cairns by spuguru

Quote: Central Cairns has been turned into a minor tourist mecca, but outdoor adventures abound nearby!

Cairns - jumping off point to adventure

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
Take a gondola or train ride to Kuranda township.
Whitewater raft the Tully river.
Go on a live aboard diving excursion.
Find waterfalls, platypii, and cassowaries it the Atherton Tablelands.
Safari the Daintree Rain Forest.
Visit the Rainforest Habitat in Port Douglas.

Quick Tips:

Spend as much time outside Cairns during the day as you can - the whole point of being here is the quick and easy access to nature!

Best Way To Get Around:

Rent a car. You'll need it if you do any exploring outside of Cairns that isn't part of a tour. The shopping district of Cairns is close enough towalk from most hotels though.

Fox and Firkin

Restaurant

Quote:
This English pub is a great place to hang out with a group of friends or to meet new ons. They've got huge tables, terrific food (obviously very meat oriented), good beer on tap, and surprisingly low prices. It's 'the' place to recharge your batteries at the end of a hard day.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 6, 2000

Fox and Firkin
Corner of Lake and Spence Street
Cairns, Australia
315 305

Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary

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Attraction

Quote:
This is a unique zoo as you get to walk among many of its denizens! We started off walking through an enclosed area among two emus which we attempted to feed, but they were a bit skiddish - as was I! Next we came into a grand plain with red kangaroos and wallabies which we hand fed pellets, veggies, and bread. The reds are 6 feet tall and very strong, but friendly. The wallabies will take food straight from your mouth - yep, I'm foolish. The park also has crocs and a cassowary (no you don't walk with these dangerour guys), tropical birds you can feed, koalas available for taking a picture while holding (they stink and are GRUMPY!), a nice snack bar and shop, and a special admission b...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 6, 2000

Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary
Port Douglas Road
Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia 4877
(07) 4099 3235

Whitewater Rafting the Tully River

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Attraction

Quote:
I've been on a few Class IV and V rivers. This isn't one of them in the dry season. The only real commands we had to learn were "rock and roll" (bounce up and down to get off the rocks) and "high side" (we all got to one side of the boat in an attempt to turn it sideways to fit through some narrow rocks. We had a great time anyway, because the river is so beautiful. This river would be amazing in wet season, and much better bang for the buck.

Raging Thunder round tripped us from Cairns (140km or so each way) in a luxury bus, fed us lunch and dinner tried their best to seperate us from as much cash as possible at their HQ. They do speak some Japanese as well.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 6, 2000

Whitewater Rafting the Tully River
Tully River
Cairns, Australia

Billy Tea Bush Safaris

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Attraction

Quote:
I'm not usually a tour kind of guy - but this one is top-notch! We were picked up at our hotel for an 11 hour tour in an 8 person 4wd vehicle. We drove up the beautiful coast Our guide knew quite a bit about nature - we saw many strangler fig trees (wrap around another tree until it dies, leaving a hollowed out "sculpture"), touched a sensitive tree (leaves fold when you touch them), licked a lemon flavored ant, and learned the fact that more people in Queensland are killed by cassowaries than great whites. Highlights included a river cruise (we spotted a croc, a tree snake and thousands of red crabs), a hike through a mangrove forest to the beach (no swimming due to jellyfish), a panoramic view of th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 6, 2000

Billy Tea Bush Safaris
Daintree Rainforest/Cape Tribulation
Cairns, Australia

Mike Ball Dive Expeditions

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Attraction | "Mike Ball Dive Excursions Live-aboard"

Quote:
Living aboard a dive boat at the Great Barrier Reef - scuba heaven! We chose a 3 day Lizard Island/Cod Hole/Reef expedition. It started with a flight on a small plane (you could sit next to the pilot) over the reef - gorgeous! We landed on Lizard Island where we saw some huge reptiles, then boarded our new home. Stormy seas made the first hour sheer hell, but things calmed greatly after that. The accommodations were nice enough (we generously gave the last "snuggly" room to a friend of ours and had separate bunks). The staff were knowledgeable, professional, extremely competent divemasters and fresh tanks of air always awaited us. The cook was wonderful! They were also very friendly - nightly...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 8, 2000

Mike Ball Dive Expeditions
143 Lake Street
Cairns, Australia 4870
+61 (0) 74053 0500

Quote:
Dives 1+2) We started out with two dives at Cod Hole - one to assess our dive skills and one to view the hand feeding of the giant Potato Cod - these fish are 6 feet in length and hungry. It was a bit intimidating for some, but absolutely amazing to watch. I also caught my first glimpse of a ray (8+ feet across) as he fled from our activity. Dive 3)Night dive at Challenger Bay. My first night dive - much trepidation about loss of yet another sense underwater! I absolutely loved it, although the two worst divers on the trip managed to make me miss seeing a moray AND an octopus. We got a hard lesson shown us when we held the light too long on a fish and he was eaten. use your light judiciously. ...Read More